ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (May 12, 2017) – The North Carolina A&T, Delaware State MEAC softball tournament elimination game would make the most cynical skeptic believe in déjà vu. A day after beating Delaware State 3-0 in extra innings, the Aggies beat Delaware 3-0 in extra innings on Friday at Ormond Beach Complex.
The score and extra innings were not the only two similarities between the Aggies-Hornets game on Thursday and the Friday game that advanced the Aggies to meet Florida A&M Friday night in another elimination game.
On Thursday, the Aggies and the Hornets played nine straight innings of scoreless softball before the Aggies earned the victory with a three-run 10th. On Friday, the Aggies and the Hornets went seven straight innings without either team scoring. But again, it was the Aggies who broke through with a three-run inning. This time, however, it occurred in the eighth inning.
Junior Talisha Jenkins opened the visitor's eighth with a single to center field. Freshman Stephanie Williams moved her to second on a sacrifice bunt before junior Raven Hunt reached on a bunt single. With Aggies on second and third after Gray stole second, junior Zadia Davis laid down another bunt, which allowed Jenkins to score the first run of the game. Junior Zadaisha Waddell then produced an RBI single that scored Gray for a 2-0 lead.
Senior Kimberly Brunson added to the lead with an RBI double to score pinch runner Taylor Martin. After sophomore Alexandria Simmons singled, the Hornets replaced starting pitcher Hannah Shields with Tara Tursellino. Tursellino got Nathaly Pacheco to ground out to end the eighth inning rally.
Waddell, the Aggies starting pitcher, opened the home eighth inning by striking out Micaela Cummings and getting Jamine Melgoza to ground out. She did walk Sabrina Quarles and Desiree Moreno to put the tying run at the plate in Mika Lumsden. But Lumsden innocently grounded out to short to give the Aggies their second victory of the day.
Waddell got the win to improve to 10-14 after going eight innings, striking out four and earning her fourth shutout win of the season. Waddell retired the first the first seven batters she faced. She also pitched her way out of difficult jam in the fourth in which the Hornets recorded three hits.
Offensively, Waddell was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Brunson was 2-for-3 with an RBI. The Aggies are 0-4 against the Rattlers this season including a tournament loss to FAMU on Thursday. Delaware State saw their season come to an end at 19-29. The Aggies improved to 19-29-1.